This is how it happens you cultivate a garden, look for new methods of growing, consider yourself a progressive gardener, but one day a neighbor comes and brings some kind of unseen gift as a gift. Delicious, he says, try to cook …
So I got acquainted with asparagus beans cowpea.
Long very long green pods and there is a product that can be prepared in many ways.
The “thing” is delicious: just cut, lightly fried (boiled, steamed). Next, we enrich the taste with a classic Mediterranean dressing (vegetable oil, salt, garlic, basil). This is just one and the easiest way to cook cowpea.
Heat treatment changes the color of the product to a brighter one. This is undoubtedly a valuable quality in cooking.
Cowpea pods are the most delicious thing in it, they are much more tender than asparagus, but if they seemed rough and tasteless to you, you should know that they are simply overripe. Vigna is the product that is consumed exclusively green.
So that acquaintance with asparagus beans does not bring disappointment, you need to study its “rider”, it is very simple, so much so that my neighbors grow cowpea as easily as, for example, cucumbers: they planted the seeds directly into the ground, then put a support, and then, have time to cut before it is overripe.
Our climate zone 5b, black soil, we can afford to grow this «exotic» without seedlings. Where it is colder, cowpea is grown first in greenhouses or at home, then transplanted into the ground. Further, in more detail.
GROUND FOR VIGNA
To begin with, the asparagus bed should be well lit.
Legumes cannot be the predecessor of cowpea. It is desirable that last year tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, cabbage, eggplants grow here.
The soil should be loose, moderately moist and well-drained, perhaps this is the only requirement for it. Mulching the beds helps to cope with the problem of drying out of the soil.
As for fertilizers, I found information that cowpeas are fertilized: superphosphate (15 g) and potassium chloride (5 g) are applied along with irrigation (10 l of water).
Personally, I try to do without chemistry, because in the fall on toIn all the beds I bring chicken manure into the soil (or sow and dig mustard with greens) and wood ash (I prefer stove heating). This turns out to be quite enough.
WHEN AND HOW TO SOW BEANS
Whatever one may say, but cowpea, after all, an exotic plant, loves warmth, does not tolerate frost and diving. The optimal planting period is when dandelions bloomed (the soil warmed up to +150C), but at the same time the air temperature does not fall below +150Even at night. In different climatic zones, this happens at its own time, therefore, perhaps, the first year of cultivation may be unsuccessful.
In our climate, we plant seeds in mid-May directly into the ground under the bottle (the part with the cap). Seeds germinate in a week.
As soon as the greens hatch and the first pair of true leaves appears, unscrew the cap. The growing season lasts about 110-120 days (this is until the seeds are fully ripe), so we enjoy the gifts of the «Chinese miracle» throughout August.
NUANCE: in different climatic conditions, the period until the moment the green pods are harvested will be different, so watch for the appearance of the crop until it is “overripe”.
Planting through seedlings will help speed up the ripening process. A month before planting in the ground, the seeds are soaked and those that “woke up” are planted in separate cups, covered with a film.
The planting depth is 2 cm. When shoots appear, the film is removed and the cups are placed on the south window, monitoring the soil moisture (overfilling is just as dangerous as underfilling).
Transplanted to a permanent place when the threat of late frosts has passed and the spring warmth has become stable.
SUPPORTS FOR VIGNA CHINA
For the sake of interest, I looked through the information on the Internet: asparagus beans are grown under a fence or wall, stretching a twine or a cucumber net. As for me, this method is inconvenient for harvesting. Here you will definitely collect overripe pods and be disappointed.
A more convenient option I have seen is vertical poles along the edges of the row, a crossbar on top and a cucumber net from bottom to top. Access to the pods from two sides, therefore it is easier to prevent their overripe.
We do it easier: before planting in the ground, we dig a row of high poles into the bed (2 meters above the ground, that is, a length of about 2.5 m). The digging step is not less than 1 m.
Around the pole in a circle with a radius of 30 cm, we plant germinated seeds (seedlings). Landing step 15-20 cm. When the plants grow up, we tie them to the pole and then they grow on their own, if they deviate, then we help with a garter. Everything that grows above the pole will be pinched, at the same time it will induce the lower part of the vine to become more active.
HOW AND WHEN TO HARVEST
There is no need to wait for the moment when the cowpea ripens: dark green pods have stretched out — cut off for testing, cook, if they are tender and tasty, it’s time to harvest. There is no need to wait for the pod to stretch up to a meter, perhaps in your conditions the limit for growth is no more than 50 cm and even much shorter.
There will be many, many pods, so feel free to cut off those that 10 days old, the next ones will quickly catch up with them. There is no such thing as with ordinary beans, when the crop is harvested in one day. With timely pruning, cowpea will delight you for a month.
During this time, you will not only be able to enjoy dishes with her participation, but also make preparations for the winter. For example, freeze (I prefer to cut into 5 cm pieces) or pickle long pods according to the recipe for hot cucumbers.
The heat treatment of cowpea lasts very little, literally 3 minutes, keep this in mind when trying out your first recipes. The signal of readiness is a color change from dark green to bright light green. The benefits of this dietary product are many, but most importantly, it is tasty even for «meat-eaters», and ideal as a side dish for the same meat.
What else to read on the site:
Hazel, Hazelnut: we grow on our site
It is added to most confectionery and desserts, both adults and children like to feast on it, in the forest it gives yields that are measured in bags, and in the store it costs so much that you involuntarily limit yourself to a weight of no more than 300 grams.
And hazel and hazelnuts are the same nuts, distinguishes them …
Strawberries by the rules
Strawberries are a juicy, fragrant berry that you look forward to in early spring and by the end of summer you regret so much that you didn’t eat enough during the season.
But that’s only because we know so little about her. In fact, the strawberry season can start at the end of May and end somewhere at the end of September…
Is the situation familiar? You sit on the Internet on winter weekends and plan: you want to do one thing, then another …The approach is correct, especially when the number of ideas goes off scale, and the warm season flies by so quickly. Here, for example, is the idea of keeping chickens: both eggs and meat, everything is our own, everything is homemade …